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2019 Subaru Forester Starts at $25,270

Motortrend Magazine News - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 3:20pm

The 2019 Subaru Forester will start at $25,270 when it goes on sale this fall. Prices look a little different from the 2018 model, and that’s partially because Subaru dropped the six-speed manual and the 2.0-liter turbo engine option. Now, all models come with a 2.5-liter flat-four engine making 182 hp and mated to a CVT. Last year, the base Forester was priced at $23,710 with the manual and $24,710 with the CVT.

Standard features on the new Forester include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM compatibility, as well as 17-inch steel wheels, all-season tires, and four-wheel disc brakes. Upgrading to alloy wheels on the base model will cost $600. Premium models up the ante with standard 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, dark tint privacy glass, roof rails, and a panoramic power moonroof for $27,670. That’s a small increase from the $27,110 price tag on last year’s Premium model with the CVT.

As we previously reported, there is a new Sport trim for 2019. This model includes gloss black exterior accents, black-finish 18-inch wheels, a rear roof spoiler, orange body accents, and special badging. Inside, you’ll find gray upholstery and orange stitching. The Forester has “Intelligent” and “Sport” driving modes, but the Sport trim replaces the latter with “Sport Sharp.” Sitting in the middle of the Forester lineup, the Sport model costs $29,770.

Limited models feature keyless access with push-button start, an all-weather package, high beam assist, LED steering responsive headlights, and blind spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert. Perforated leather-trimmed upholstery finish off the look on this model that goes from $31,770. This price is up from last year’s $30,310 price tag.

On the Touring trim, buyers receive chrome exterior door handles, exclusive leather trimmed upholstery choices, heated rear seats, an 8-inch navigation screen with Harman Kardon sound system, and a 7-speed manual shift mode and paddle shifters for the CVT. This version will set you back $35,270, a considerable jump from the $34,005 price tag on last year’s Touring model.

The Forester faces steep competition in the compact crossover segment. Toyota hasn’t released prices for the new 2019 RAV4, but the 2018 Honda CR-V starts at $25,245, or $26,645 with all-wheel drive.

Source: Subaru

 

The post 2019 Subaru Forester Starts at $25,270 appeared first on Motor Trend.

Cruise Automation Security Experts Suggest Removing Tech Features To Boost Security

GM Authority News - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 3:00pm

Want to make your autonomous vehicle more impervious to attack? Ditch the Bluetooth.

Solving ECU Options For Your LT Or LS Engine Swap With EFILive

Corvettes Online News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 1:45pm
Selecting from the vast offerings of slightly-used engines and controllers can be done with a little knowledge and research.

This New GM Patent Application Hints at a Future Adaptive Instrument Cluster

Corvette Blogger - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 1:38pm

Earlier this week we learned of several new patents awarded to GM for adaptive aerodynamic technologies that may be headed to future models of the Corvette. From that deep dive in the USPTO, we also learned of a new patent application being sought by the automaker which also may have some applications in future Corvette […]

The post This New GM Patent Application Hints at a Future Adaptive Instrument Cluster appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Infiniti Prototype 10 Looks Long and Low in This Teaser Sketch

Motortrend Magazine News - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 1:00pm

Earlier this month, Infiniti released a teaser showing what looked like a single-seat sports car concept. But because the top-down image only showed the driver’s seat, it was hard to get an idea of what the car looked like. Thanks to this most recent teaser, though, that has changed.

Called the Prototype 10, Infiniti’s latest concept is a followup to last year’s retro Prototype 9 EV. Except while that concept’s design was inspired by race cars from the 1930s, the Prototype 10 is more of a reimagined speedster from the 1950s. Unlike the actual cars from that era, Infiniti says the Prototype 10 is electrified.

“The Infiniti Prototype 10 echoes the layout and design of some of the most evocative car designs of all time, where power was celebrated through high-powered single-seat competition cars,” said Karim Habib, Infiniti’s head of design, in a release. “Our new concept speaks of an electrified future, something which is reflected in its form and details. It is appropriate that we found inspiration in an optimistic bygone era in which cars were characterized by the simple love of driving.”

At the moment, there’s no telling exactly what kind of powertrain it uses, but Infiniti probably wouldn’t have said “electrified” if the Prototype 10 was fully electric. Instead, we suspect it’s some sort of hybrid. Parallel hybrid? Series hybrid? Plug-in hybrid? Who knows. If we got to choose, we’d love to see a turbine-electric hybrid, but sadly, Infiniti didn’t ask us.

In addition to the Sketch, Infiniti released a few more close-up teaser images over the past few days. These give use a better view of Prototype 10 from the side. We can see the bodywork rises to form a streamlined speedster fairing behind the headrest. And while it does come to a sharp, vertical point, it’s not quite the Jaguar D-Type fin we thought we saw initially. We also see more clearly the vertical slats in the fairing and next to it in the recess where the passenger seat would normally go. These vents could be cooling for a battery pack, combustion engine, or something else entirely. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Currently, the official reveal of the Prototype 10 is scheduled for August 23, but there’s always a chance Infiniti will release more information before then.

Source: Infiniti

The post Infiniti Prototype 10 Looks Long and Low in This Teaser Sketch appeared first on Motor Trend.

Honda Odyssey Outperforms Rivals in Small Overlap, LATCH Tests

Motortrend Magazine News - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 12:31pm

In its latest round of crash tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, and Toyota Sienna received very different ratings in two categories: LATCH and the passenger-side small overlap test. In both these categories, the Honda Odyssey proved the clear winner.

LATCH is a system of attachment hardware that’s supposed to make it easier for customers to install child restraints in their cars. That’s the intent, although some systems aren’t as easy to use as others. IIHS ranks the systems for their ease of use, including the accessibility of the lower anchors, the force required to attach the seat, and the number of LATCH-equipped seating positions among other criteria. Of the three minivans, the Odyssey came out on top.  It earned a “Good+” rating in this category, while the Sienna scored “Acceptable” and the Pacifica was deemed “Marginal.” The Dodge Grand Caravan and Kia Sedona are also rated “Acceptable.”

For several years, IIHS has issued ratings for the driver-side small overlap test. This test simulates what happens when the front left corner of a car crashes into a tree, pole, or other object at 40 mph. Just recently, IIHS added ratings for the passenger side, which simulates the same event on the right-hand corner of the vehicle. Once again, the Odyssey takes the cake with a “Good” rating. The Pacifica scored “Acceptable” and the Sienna scored “Marginal.” Neither the Grand Caravan nor the Sedona have been rated in this category.

If such a crash were to happen in real life, the front passenger in a Sienna may sustain injuries to the right hip and lower leg, IIHS said. The crash caused 16 inches of intrusion into the dashboard and 20 inches into the lower compartment. Toyota modified the Sienna’s structure for increased driver-side protection starting with 2015 models, but failed to make the same improvements to the passenger side, the agency noted.

Vehicles don’t need to earn top ratings in the passenger-side test or the LATCH test to qualify for the Top Safety Pick award. The Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey, and Kia Sedona have earned the award for 2018. To achieve this feat, a vehicle must have “Good” ratings in all crash tests except the passenger-side test, a headlight rating of “Acceptable” or “Good,” and a front crash prevention rating of “Advanced” or “Superior.” So far this round, no minivan has earned the even more prestigious Top Safety Pick+ award, which requires at least an “Acceptable” rating in the passenger-side test in combination with a “Good” headlight score.

View the most recent minivan ratings from IIHS here.

Source: IIHS

The post Honda Odyssey Outperforms Rivals in Small Overlap, LATCH Tests appeared first on Motor Trend.

Survey Suggests Consumer Trust In Fully-Autonomous Vehicles Is Waning

GM Authority News - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 11:50am

Consumers are more uneasy about autonomous vehicle tech today than they were two years ago.

2018 Woodward Dream Cruise: Cruising with Fiat-Chrysler/SRT’s Mark Trostle

Motortrend Magazine News - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 11:37am

Last year we spent the first three days of Woodward Dream Cruise week riding along with designers from the Detroit Three. This year we decided to round up reps from each company’s performance group. First up: Mark Trostle, who has been overseeing the SRT performance group’s design since March of 2011. These days he also has responsibility for Dodge, and all passenger and utility-vehicle exterior design, as well, but it’s still the high-performance stuff that excites him. A car guy through and through, the racing bug bit him when he started autocrossing a Dodge Omni GLH Turbo. He crewed for a friend who was IT racing a CRX and eventually bought a showroom stock Dodge Neon race car (which he drove home to Michigan from Florida in the summer). Sadly we spotted no GLHs, Neons, nor the first car he purchased as a Chrysler employee: a 1992 Eagle Talon TSI Turbo with AWD. These days Mark’s daily driver is a Hellcat, but because he opted for the rear-seat-delete package, we’re rolling in a press-office Hellcat Widebody that seats four.

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

Maybe we’re overly sensitized to them tonight, but the Avenue seems to be absolutely jammed with modern high-horsepower Challengers including a Hellcat convertible (“I hope that got a lot of reinforcement!”) and about a half-dozen Demons. Several observers curbside and in nearby cars remark about not having seen a Redeye Widebody yet, however. It’s not long before we sidle up next to a Demon that’s a dead ringer for one in Mark’s collection (which bears VIN 10) except that it lacks his car’s black hood/roof/decklid option. Mark is relieved to note that none of the Hellcats or Demons on Woodward are committing the cardinal sin of leaving the bright yellow chin-spoiler protectors on. “We made them yellow so they’d be too ugly to leave on!” he exclaims. The ultimate sin, spotted at a car show: leaving the yellow protector installed and protected with blue painter’s tape.

1987-1993 Fox Mustang

Mark’s impressionable first moments at the wheel of any car came in a 1979 Mercury Capri hatchback with a manual transmission. It was built on Ford’s Fox platform shared with this Mustang. His father (also a car designer) had bought it for his mother, and it was eventually handed down to him. A budding car designer even then, Mark couldn’t resist taking the car down to bare metal, painting it black, adding 16-inch wheels, and upgrading it with the later (’83­–’86) bubble-window rear hatch. A very young Mark and the aging Capri survived a carjacking in Detroit; he ended up recovering the car about a week later. Although we made umpteen laps of the hottest stretch of Woodward, we never found a Fox Capri (and saw darned few Fox Mustangs). This was the closest we came—and Mark was quick to note that this one’s modifications might not exactly match his personal taste …

2008-2010 Dodge Viper SRT 10

Mark worked internships with both GM and Chrysler design groups, but it was the Viper that inspired him to accept a job with Chrysler shortly after he graduated from the College for Creative Studies in 1992. He basically wanted to work for any company crazy or bold enough to make such a car, and sure enough, by 2011 he was in charge of the group designing the Viper. Mark previously owned a 1992 Viper, and he currently has VIN 001 of the 2017 model Viper painted in—what else?—designer’s black.

1968 Plymouth Road Runner

Mark is ever the Mopar fan, and this slightly grungy base 383 Plymouth Road Runner really caught his eye. It’s missing its Looney Tunes cartoon Road Runner decals and rear hubcaps, and its mismatched tires lend it a strong function-over-form vibe that really suits Woodward. We did not succeed in prevailing upon the owner to demonstrate its “beep-beep” horn function …

1965-1967 Mk III AC/Shelby Cobra 427

Get many designers going about iconic car designs they love, and this one comes up a lot. It quite obviously inspired the original Viper, and Mark would love to own one. It’s pretty hard (but not impossible) to imagine someone wheeling an original down Woodward, but if this is a reproduction it’s at least a very faithful knockoff with no obvious cheating on the dimensions or build quality.

1967 “Eleanoresque” Mustang

Mark was obviously destined for a life in design, given that he couldn’t leave the design of his very first hand-me-down car alone. Today he loves seeing how other people alter production designs, enhancing the line work, emphasizing the proportion, using color and sheen to show off the lines. He was very favorably impressed by this matte monochrome bronze ’67 Mustang that had a vaguely Eleanor/Gone in 60 Seconds vibe to it—but with far greater subtlety. The wheel diameters and offsets perfectly fill the arches, the hood has a Demon-like air inlet, the blacked-out chrome greenhouse trim and body-color bumpers look great, and the bronze-tint headlight lenses finish it off superbly.

1948-1951 Studebaker Starlight Coupe

When asked how the mods on this Studebaker struck him, Mark’s one-word answer was a diplomatic “polarizing.” There’s no arguing with the quality of the coachwork, which is impressive. A true artisan mixed the cleaner horizontal taillight design of the ’48–’49 Starlight coupe with the more iconic bullet-nose front end from the ’50–’51 design. Chopping the roof looks kind of cool, but the rear glass isn’t chopped enough to preserve the roof’s curvature. That’s great for rear visibility—less great for preserving the original Virgil Exner/Raymond Loewy design’s beauty.

1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda

Mark once owned a ’70 ’Cuda, though his car only packed a 360 under the hood. This one is nicely outfitted with the big-block 440, Go Wing, rally wheels, and Limelight Poly green paint.

1970 Dodge Challenger R/T

We round out our Mopar Muscle car-spotting adventure with this modestly equipped Challenger R/T, sporting a twin-nostril hood and a curious combination of a black hood stripe and white side stripes. But the factory wheels and white-letter tires really set the car off nicely, and it looked great prowling the Avenue in a sea of even wider, taller LC body Challengers.

The post 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise: Cruising with Fiat-Chrysler/SRT’s Mark Trostle appeared first on Motor Trend.

2018 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet First Look: One Fast Pony

Motortrend Magazine News - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 10:30am

What better place than Woodward Avenue during Dream Cruise week for Ford to unleash a limited-edition 50th anniversary Mustang Cobra Jet race car.

With the roar of engines and high-octane smell lingering over the boulevard from night after night of cruising leading up to the main rolling event on Saturday, Ford ups the ante with the fastest production Mustang on the drag strip. The car was shown to the media today and will make its public debut at the Dream Cruise on Saturday as part of the Mustang Alley display.

The 2018 Mustang Cobra Jet is a turnkey race car—it’s not street legal—and Ford will only make 68 of them to mark the year the original debuted. You have a choice of two colors: Race Red or Oxford White. Price tag: $130,000, not including available anniversary badging and graphics. You can place your order now at a Ford dealership.

Under the hood is a 5.2-liter version of Ford’s 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 with a 3.0-liter fifth-generation Whipple supercharger. It has a three-speed racing transmission.

Ford says the car can exceed 150 mph, which necessitates a parachute on the back. And it claims the car will do the quarter-mile run in just over 8 seconds, which means it has at least 700 horsepower and likely exceeds 1,000 (more specs including horsepower will be revealed later this summer). For perspective: Motor Trend clocked the Tesla Model S P100D’s quarter-mile at 10.5 seconds.

The Mustang has a four-link rear suspension, 9-inch solid rear axle, two-way coil-over shocks with adjustable ride height, and a low-drag disc brake system from Strange Engineering. An NHRA-certified safety roll cage can be ordered from the factory along with FIA-certified seats and anniversary-badged racing wheels.

This latest rendition is a reverent nod to the original Cobra Jet engine that debuted, and won, in 1968 at the NHRA Winternationals. The orignial V-8 generated 335 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque. Ford brought back a Mustang Cobra Jet in 2008 with a supercharged 5.4-liter V-8; that run was limited to 50 examples, and they did not have VINs and thus weren’t street legal. From 2009 to 2016 Ford made another 250 cars, essentially making 50 every two years. It was in 2013 that the engine switched to the 5.0-liter V-8.

The 2018 model was developed by the Ford Performance team and uses the 2018 Mustang platform. But again, no VINs. It starts life at Ford’s Flat Rock assembly plant in Michigan and goes to Watson Racing to lighten the body, add the roll cage and other modifications before returning to Flat Rock for paint and final assembly. Then it returns to Watson for final addition of performance parts.

If you can’t get to Woodward, the new Mustang Cobra Jet will be in Norwalk, Ohio, Aug. 25 for the 50th Anniversary Ford Performance Cobra Jet Reunion at Summit Motorsports Park, which is expected to attract more than 150 cars.

The post 2018 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet First Look: One Fast Pony appeared first on Motor Trend.

[PICS] First Look at the 2019 Corvette’s New Shadow Gray Exterior

Corvette Blogger - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 10:22am

It was just 10 days ago that Shadow Gray entered production on 2019 Corvettes and now we have the first photos and comparison pics of the color with the outgoing Watkins Glen Gray. The pics come from our friend Mike Furman @ Criswell Chevrolet. Mike tells us that this is a color that has to […]

The post [PICS] First Look at the 2019 Corvette’s New Shadow Gray Exterior appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Hertz Celebrates 100 years by unleashing 650 Horses

Corvettes Online News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 9:39am
The latest Rent-A-Racer effort by car rental company Hertz centers around Chevrolet's 2019 Z06 Corvette. May we suggest taking out the insurance waiver!

$10K Drag Shootout Giveaway – Win a $10K Drag Car!

Corvettes Online News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 8:00am
Enter for your chance to win one of the race cars from the Horsepower Wars $10K Drag Shootout and 7 weeks of prizes.

Throwback Thursday: Fuel Injection Technology’s EFI-4 And EFI-8 Kits

Corvettes Online News Feed - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 5:45am
Are you contemplating the installation of EFI on your hot rod? Check out this short exposé as we discuss fuel injection with FiTech.

Chevy Corvette Sales Decrease 26 Percent To 5,785 Units In Q2 2018

GM Authority News - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 2:19am

Remaining the best-selling model in its competitive set.

2019 Volkswagen Golf R Available in 40 Custom Colors

Motortrend Magazine News - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 7:48pm

A Viper Green Metallic paint job isn’t just for the Lamborghini Huracán anymore. Soon you can order a 2019 Volkswagen Golf R in one of 40 custom colors, plus five standard flavors.

Nogaro Blue Pearl, Violet Touch Metallic, Caribbean Green, and Copper Orange Metallic are just a few of the new colors to choose from if you’d like your new Golf R to look like something that rolled out of a bag of Skittles.

The Volkswagen Spektrum Program adds $2,500 to the sticker price, which should easily push your hot hatch into the low $40,000 range. Aside from Viper Green Metallic which by the way was originally featured on the European Mk 3 Scirocco, other colors include Deep Blue Pearl from the Mk 4 and Mk 5 R32, Ginster Yellow from the 1997 Driver’s Edition GTI, and Mars Red from the Mk 1 GTI. Too bad you can’t mix and match colors to make a modern Golf Harlequin.

VW is planning to add a builder tool to its site soon so keep an eye out for a 360-degree colorizer. In the meantime, customers can submit an order with local dealers and your custom ride should be ready in about two to four months.

Source: Volkswagen

The post 2019 Volkswagen Golf R Available in 40 Custom Colors appeared first on Motor Trend.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. To Pace Next Month’s Brickyard 400 In A Camaro ZL1

GM Authority News - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 7:16pm

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is set to pace the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard next month. He'll be doin' it for himself.

2019 Silverado High Country: Complete Photo Gallery

GM Authority News - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 6:21pm

The range-topping Silverado comes out for an official photo shoot.

2019 BMW 330i Prototype Review: The Ultimat3?

Motortrend Magazine News - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 6:01pm

Our incessant bleating about BMW’s lamentable deviation from its “ultimate driving machine” ethos appears to have at long last spurred some action. The niche M5 drives pretty ultimately, and now the chassis development team for the crucial G20-generation 3 Series sedan seems equally determined to return the iconic Dreier to the top of its highly competitive heap.

So eager is the team to get this right and shut down the haters that a select few of the loudest complainers were invited to the Nurburgring for an intense day of public road and closed ’Ring driving of early 2.0-liter turbo prototype cars. Note, these versions were equipped with the M Sport package, and there’s still time to tune and tweak some of the final calibrations before the new 330i goes on sale early next year.

A quick summary of the key changes: Examine the undercarriage, and you won’t notice anything radically new, and yet every part is significantly revised—geometry, elastokinematics (bushings and bump-stops), spring and damping rates, and damper internals. Of course, the most crucial chassis component is the body structure itself; it’s stiffened by 25 percent in overall torsion, and the areas where the front and rear suspensions mount are about 50 percent more rigid.

The switch to aluminum for most of the front body structure contributes to an overall weight reduction of 120 pounds, which improves agility by lowering the polar moment of inertia, and helps deliver a 50:50 weight distribution (measured with full fluids, 300 pounds of front-seat passengers, and 31 pounds in the trunk). The center of gravity on all 3 Series models drops by 0.4 inch (the sport suspension drops the body another 0.4 inch), and the track widens by 1.2 inch.

That added rigidity around the suspension mounts better resists vibration, so the suspension bushings can be stiffened to deliver more road-feel to the steering rack (for the first time on a BMW, the sport suspension gets unique bushings). Front and rear suspension geometry is revised to lower the roll centers slightly and to make the rear more neutral. With improved front grip, we’re promised, the result is reduced understeer and increased agility.

The front struts feature new internal hydraulic rebound stops that dramatically increase the damping force in both directions near the top of the travel (the old internal rebound springs stored energy as the body rose and released it on the way back down, skewing the effective damping rates). The rear shocks include a similar function operating at the bottom end of travel, where a second, smaller piston enters a narrower cylinder that increases the damping rate by 50 percent. This improves body-motion control when the vehicle is heavily loaded and when it traverses bigger dips and bumps. The base and sport suspensions both utilize this technology, using different damping rates. (The optional adaptive sport dampers do this and more using external bypass spool valves.)

The base steering rack uses a fixed ratio, and sport suspensions get a variable rate with a more gradual (less noticeable) quickening of the ratio at higher steering angles. And—hallelujah!—the utterly unpredictable and truly hateful Active Steering has been banished to a special circle of hell (at least for the G20).

BMW did not share the specific spring and damping figures with us, but base car tuning is very slightly stiffer, and the sport suspenders are about 12 percent stiffer than the outgoing sport setup, meaning the gap between base and sport roughly doubles in this generation. The anti-roll bars have been tweaked very slightly to maintain similar control working in conjunction with the new spring rates and geometric roll axis. Tires remain the same size but are re-engineered for less rolling resistance and noise transmission.

In the braking department, both base and sport models get four-piston front and two-piston rear fixed calipers, but the sport models boast larger-diameter discs and caliper pistons front and rear, with a unique booster and proportioning valves to match. The last piece of the dynamic handling puzzle is the sport suspension’s electronically controlled limited-slip diff, which is entirely controlled by the chassis computers and works just like the ones in M cars, but with two fewer clutch plates.

My first drive is in an electric power steering–equipped development prototype with BMW steering guru Mischa Bachmann riding shotgun. As I steer through the twisty lanes, he taps away on a laptop altering various parameters, like an optometrist working a refractor. “Do you like this one, or is this better?”

Bachmann starts me out with his leading calibration for “comfort” steering,—light on center, effort builds naturally off center, and there’s never any sensation of effort being added for sportiness’ sake. I like it. He lets me sample higher steering effort levels and various damping rate profiles (these affect how quickly you can steer the car and how it returns to center). By comparison with the baseline’s low, natural effort, all seem worse. Other journalists at the event preferred some of Mischa’s tweaks. But what do they know? Do any emulate the feel of a Porsche Boxster or E39 5 Series? No. Mischa’s setup is superbly precise, utterly predictable, and makes the car do exactly what I ask of it. Bravo. It still lacks the feel of those benchmark cars—because it’s so darned hard for road forces to fight their way past the torque of an electric motor twisting a second pinion on the steering rack, which then flows up the main pinion and shaft to the steering wheel rim.

Next we set out on an hour-plus route used by the development team. It offers a brilliant mix of twisty, hilly, and straight country roads with widely varying surfaces, village roads, and unrestricted autobahn stretches. Application driving dynamics boss Jos van As notes that the test cars are the “worst case for ride”—sport suspension and lowest-profile run-flat tires. Yet body motion control is impeccable, and the vehicle absorbs the sharpest impacts with trademark vintage-BMW suppleness. I can only imagine how cosseting the base car on taller sidewalls will feel. Even when those bumps occur in the tightest of corners, they’re absorbed without deviating from the driving line. The e-LSD axle can be felt helping dig the car out of the tightest corners when the throttle is open. In a few hard hairpin corners that clearly involve steering-ratio variation, the effort and motion feel entirely natural. And at 155 mph on the autobahn, the solid on-center feel inspires confidence.

The time arrives for two hot laps of the Nurburgring behind van As in an M2 serving as my driving-line coach. The new 3 feels right at home here—no surprise, given that it’s logged thousands of miles, 12.9 of them at a time, on this 73-turn circuit. A bit more surprising is how quickly this chassis makes a ’Ring virgin like myself feel comfortable probing eight- and nine-tenths of this chassis’ limits, maintaining small-slip-angle drifts and trusting the brakes to do their thing harder and later in the turns. (I did detect a bit of brake vibration at the end of one long braking zone, however.) The steering totally disappears here, drawing no attention to itself.

The session ends. I struggle to think of constructive feedback for the chassis team. My criticisms are all for other 3 Series engineers. The transmission’s sport-mode tuning needs a lot of work. It was forever grabbing high gears at the wrong time and it too seldom downshifted appropriately while slowing for a corner. The shift paddles and manual-gate shifter work great, except the thin red line in the cluster that blinks at redline is too faint to get my attention. I’d also love to see some improvement in the sound of the engine/exhaust at lower revs. It sounds great at full boil, but it’s still plagued by that dieselish clatter at idle and low cruising speeds. (The only other news we received during this chassis-focused trip about the 2.0-liter turbo engine is that it will gain about 7 hp and 37 lb-ft of torque.)

Over dinner we chat about benchmarks, and I ask whether the Alfa Romeo Giulia warranted special attention. “It is a great car, but it is not a BMW,” says chassis integration guy Robert Rothmiller. In his team’s experience, Rothmiller finds that although the Alfa’s ultimate capabilities may be impressive, that car makes its driver work harder than a BMW driver should have to in achieving them. So will this be the ultimate-driving 3 Series? The essential elements seem to be here—provided Mischa doesn’t act on those other journalists’ steering recommendations and ruin his years of development work.

The post 2019 BMW 330i Prototype Review: The Ultimat3? appeared first on Motor Trend.

Bright Idea: Hertz Celebrates 100 Years By Adding Corvette Z06 To Rental Fleet

GM Authority News - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 5:50pm

Soon, you'll be able to rent Chevrolet's high-powered Corvette Z06 from select Hertz locations.

Chevrolet Camaro To Start $1k Cheaper Than Ford Mustang For 2019

GM Authority News - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 4:23pm

The base Chevrolet Camaro 1LS is getting a $905 price drop for the 2019 model year.

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